Thoughts on current Martin Ukes

iDavid

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I got to play a Martin 2 Tenor. The store was pretty busy, so I couldn't hear it all that well, but it seemed pretty nice. I really loved the neck, very easy to play.

Any thoughts on the different models. Are they worth the money?
 

coolkayaker1

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I like them very much, but revile the geared tuners on the new concert and tenors.

That said, I buy vintage Martins now for price retention.

I'm trying to convince Peter Houdini to get a vintage Martin, but he's quite a tough nut to crack. Hehe.
 

rpfrogner

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Without a doubt I am a vintage Martin ukulele lover! I keep telling myself I want to get a modern made Martin uke. I think they are well made and sound good. I just can't make myself do so yet........
 

SamUke

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I have a 2M soprano and it's as good as any soprano I have played. I've had a couple Loprinzi's, a Kamaka soprano deluxe, Kiwaya KTS-4, William King Koa(which I regret selling everyday), and Koaloha; I would pick it over of them personally. It take a few months for it really start to shine, I also switched the strings to brown worth BM which really makes it shine.
 

SamUke

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One thought, if you buy a new Martin check the finish. While mine is a fantastic sounding uke, the finish seems lighter in some spots.

M21.jpg
 

coolkayaker1

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Without a doubt I am a vintage Martin ukulele lover! I keep telling myself I want to get a modern made Martin uke. I think they are well made and sound good. I just can't make myself do so yet........

But you HAVE to get that Martin first-ever 3Cherry soprano, Rick. Your collection, which is eye-popping, is naked without it. :) It's like looking at Farrah Fawcett's teeth, but with one knocked out like the guys on Duck Dynasty.

IMG_0242.jpg
farrah-fawcett.jpg
 

allanr

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I'm a fan of the new Mexican Martin's

They are only slightly more expensive than the high end Chinese ukuleles, and significantly nicer sounding and playing IMHO.

They are well priced for the quality you get.
A perfect example of "you get what you pay for".

The new USA Martins are gorgeous. Sound wise I have not been that impressed with the ones that I've played. I mean they were all excellent but they lacked a certain sparkle that you hear when you play a vintage Martin or a new Koaloha or Kanilea. I have a feeling that this may not be a permanent issue though. I'd bet that they just need a year of playing to open up.
 

Nickie

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I recently was able to "fondle" a new Mexican Martin at Sam Ash Music. It was very light, sounded wonderful, had sustain, seemed true all the way up the fretboard, and the action was just about perfect. I almost took it home. It was a concert size, and the price wasn't all that bad. But I decided to wait for a vintage Martin to come to me.....
 

strumsilly

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I played one of the KOA MEXICAN MADE MARTIN tenors and was favorably impressed. I thought it was very nice for the price point,
 

mm stan

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I have a martin style to and several martins...they sound real nice..... but there is this certain builder who makes copies and sound and plays better..not ken timms...
 

Wingnutz

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I played a concert koa (Mexican) that sounded great and I was ready to buy it. Unfortunately, when I returned to the store next week they had sold it, but they had another one. But that uke sounded nowhere near as good as the one I wanted to buy. The setup was all wrong - nut too low, played out of tune up the neck. I was surprised that something with the Martin name on it would be so lacking in quality control. So, as usual - always play before you buy!
 

PeteyHoudini

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Just wanna say... I'm not in some sort of new Martin trance. I find Ko-alohas to be amazing ukes! I also possess a Chili Mainland uke and a Triumph triangular tenor.

It's interesting how much praise these Mexican Martin ukes get. I totally agree. I've played the S-O, S1 and OXK and they were impressive with a sound I like. That's why I moved up, though not everyone can afford that or want to. Just go with the flow.

I must admit, I've bought more and more of the new Martins as a kind of a mad sound test. I have a new Martin 2 concert on the way with those annoying tuners. Should be arriving at my local music store on Friday. I will then do a comparison of the S2 soprano, 2 concert, 2 tenor, and the style 3.

I like them very much, but revile the geared tuners on the new concert and tenors.
I'm trying to convince Peter Houdini to get a vintage Martin, but he's quite a tough nut to crack. Hehe.

Indeed, I got your email and appreciate it kindly, but I've just ordered a new Martin 2 concert and will get it on Friday! Don't worry, Steve... I haven't broken the bank in Montecarlo yet so that vintage uke may still be on my radar! I need to understand the new Martin concert sound despite the ears! (geared tuners).

@SamUke: I am 1000% (if possible) agreed with you... my new 2M and the 3 cherry are the ones I would run to, to save if my place caught fire.

@coolkayaker1: I had that Farah Fawcett poster on my wall as a kid in the '70s! I bought the entire 6 million dollar man series two years back and just rewatched it again! Also got Charlie's Angels and Vegas with Dan Tanna!

@Wingnutz: I had two 3 cherry ukes that were like night and day. I kept the good one!

Petey
 
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coolkayaker1

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Six Million Dollar Man. Dan Tanna. Charlie's Angels. You want a man kiss? Come here. I love you, man.

I have the entire Brady Bunch series box set and no one to watch it with me. We should ditch the girls and watch the entire damned thing. Have to take a shot of cognac every time Jan says, " Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

Oh, wait. We're topographically challenged.

Okay, back to brainwashing all of UU that Martins are a gift from the gods. Hehe. We'll get on to Mannix and Baretta box sets in another thread.
 
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coolkayaker1

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Skinny hit the nail on the head. Dick Boak, Martin's Customer Service HEad, describes it as "very much like Formica" at 14:10 min in this video.

I wonder if it needs the same -- or more or less--bracing than a wood instrument?

The entire Martin tour series (of which the aboce video is one) is well worth your hour to watch. The same basic process goes into our ukuleles, I presume.